Free College Education, Free Internet, Extended Driver’s License And Passport Validity Await PRRD’s Signature


Free and quality education is finally closer at hand!

Free education in state colleges and universities. Access to grants and affordable loans for poor yet deserving students. Free internet in public places like hospitals, schools, parks, train stations and airports. The extension of the validity of passports and driver’s licenses.

These are just some of the bills that are currently awaiting President Duterte’s signature in order to be established as laws.

Under the Philippine Constitution, the president is given 30 days to either sign a bill into law or to veto it. The measure will, however, lapse into law in the event that he does not act within the said time period.

Among the bills sent to the Office of the President is one aimed at strengthening the provision of emergency health service to patients, specifically by giving patients access to free and adequate health care, especially in emergency situations. Once passed, the law will also strongly prohibit hospitals and medical clinics from demanding deposits or advanced payments prior to confinement or treatment of patients.

Regarding driver’s licenses, another bill waiting to be signed extends the validity of the said license from three years to five, and even up to ten years, provided that the owner of the license has not committed any violations.

OFWs and people who travel out of the country a lot are also keeping their fingers crossed for the approval of the bill prolonging the validity of passports from five to ten years. Included in Duterte’s legislative agenda, this measure will amend Sec. 10 of RA 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

Other bills waiting to be signed as well are the measures amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act in order to include casinos in its coverage, and adjusting the amounts involved in it, the value of properties, or the damage on which a penalty is based, plus fines under the Revised Penal Code.

Most of these bills denotes the onset of positive changes that Filipinos have been waiting to happen for ages and, once approved, will be indelible signs that change has finally come.

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